Near the end of the Middle English romance Robert of Cisyle, the eponymous king—who has been punished for his pride by being made to serve as his own court's fool—acknowledges the error of his former ways: "For he ys a fole [. . .] / That turneth hys wytt unto folye" (CUL Ff. 2. 38, ll. 398–9). Such condemnations of fools and folly—in Robert of Cisyle, underwritten by the pope and an angel—in no way served to stem the tide of medieval interest in fools and folly. Literary evidence shows that many premodern writers and their audiences "turn[ed their] wytt vn to folye": fools filled the medieval stage and page, pervading multiple literary genres.
UCLA Comparative Literature Graduate Student Conference
February 19-20, 2016
Keynote Speaker: Lynn Enterline (Vanderbilt University)
Plenary Speakers: Julian Gutierrez-Albilla (USC); Jeffrey Sacks (UC Riverside)
The uneasy boundary between madness and love asserts itself throughout recorded history. The shifting relationship between these two phenomena exists across most (if not all) societies and epochs, particularly in literature and art. From lovesickness in the Middle Ages, to nymphomania and hysteria in the Enlightenment, to the stalker in modern-day horror films, the line between love and madness is continually conflated, contested, and blurred.
ACLA 2016 (Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA: March 17-20,2016)
Visual (Inter)Changes in the Mediterranean Basin: Medieval & Renaissance Western and Eastern Illuminated Manuscripts
"Yet does illustrating in a new way signify a new way of seeing?"
― Orhan Pamuk, My Name is Red
Co-organizers: Jacquelyn Ardam, UCLA; Ronjaunee Chatterjee, CalArts
2015 marked the 30-year anniversary of the publication of Donna Haraway's "A Cyborg Manifesto," whose radical questioning of the divisions between human and machine, matter and meaning, and gendered and "postgendered" existence continues to animate our social reality. Recent discussions in the field of new materialism, which grapple with questions of embodiment and materiality, have opened up new avenues for theorizing femininity outside of conventional frameworks.
Devils are everywhere in medieval literature, disturbing, challenging, and violating conventional spatio-temporal constraints as they move freely between worlds in order to torment the holy, spread disease, and tempt good Christians by making sin seem sweet. They appear as enchanters, tempters, playful tricksters, masked tormentors, terrifying beasts, mankind's lawyerly accusers, and on occasion, as sympathetic figures who happened to be on the losing side of a cosmic war. Although much has been written about how devils are staged, their appearance, and their interaction with those they torment, very little has been written about what devils actually say. How do devils represent themselves and their spaces of punishment?
In his long and distinguished career, Robert (Bob) Potter sought to expand and even explode the temporal and geographic boundaries of medieval drama in general and the morality play in particular. As critic, scholar, playwright, poet, and activist, Bob Potter chaffed against categories and boundaries while producing fine scholarship ranging from publications on Hildegard of Bingen to the English morality play to Mother Courage, with many other critical and scholarly forays along the way. This session will honor Bob Potter's myriad contributions to drama studies in a career that spanned five decades and embraced at least as many forms of creativity.
Scholars have continued their efforts to make medieval drama accessible to modern audiences, producing several "classroom" texts and adapting or translating plays for performance. These efforts prompt several questions: How does the method of publication (print or electronic) affect the presentation of text and apparatus? How does the interpretive apparatus of stand-alone editions differ from those of thematic or period-based anthologies? How do performance goals affect the degree to which a production modifies the text? How do fixed or changing spaces, players, and audiences affect a play's production? The panel welcomes papers exploring these and other questions related to adapting medieval drama for modern audiences.
This session will examine how early drama produced time (or experiences of time) often through the strategic use of space. Recent work on temporality challenges us to think about time as multiple, overlapping, simultaneous constructions. Theoretical work specifically related to theatre reminds us that performances do not merely represent time, but that they actually produce time(s), allowing spectators and actors to inhabit temporal spaces and to make meaning from those theatrical experiences. In the Middle Ages & Renaissance, not only did dramatic performances accomplish this, but so did other kinds of cultural performances, such as interactions with manuscripts, engagements with art objects, and devotional meditation.
Call for Papers for Edited Books with ISBN
Last Date 31st December 2015
Generally, most people have their own ideas of what literature is. When enrolling in a literary course at university, you expect that everything on the reading list will be "literature". Similarly, you might expect everything by a known author to be literature, even though the quality of that author's work may vary from publication to publication. Perhaps you get an idea just from looking at the cover design on a book whether it is "literary" or "pulp". Literature then, is a form of demarcation, however fuzzy, based on the premise that all texts are not created equal. Some have or are given more value than others.
More Middle Ages on Screen? Reconsidering The Reel Middle Ages (A Roundtable)
Sponsored by the Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages
51st International Congress on Medieval Studies
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan
12-15 May 2016
Proposals due by 15 September 2015